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Credit Card Fraud on the Rise

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By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Credit card theft has increased thirty–one percent over the last three years.

That's according to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice.

And, We're seeing a rise in our community as well.

Over the weekend, Andrew Shotswell was arrested and charged with two counts of credit card fraud.

According to police, Shotswell was an employee at Halloween City.

He reportedly used a customer's stolen credit card to make several purchases throughout the city.

Local experts describe credit card fraud as something that can happen anywhere at any time, but there are ways to protect yourself.

"Our customers and people in Idaho are affected just about every day in one form or another," said Matthew Rice, First Federal Bank Security Director.

One in ten Americans have fell victim to credit card fraud.

Worldwide it's a $5.5 billion problem as reported by the D.O.J.

"We see it all the time. Really just because with credit cards it's a global shopping area, especially now a day where people shop online more and more," said Rice.

As Rice tells us, it's important to keep a close eye on your accounts because most of the time it starts with a small test charge.

"When that goes through that's when they hit you with the big one. So, it's great if you catch the one dollar, call your bank, get it shut down and then it prevents it from doing anything else,” said Rice.

Statistics show the initial point of contact for nearly fifty–percent of all credit card fraud is through email.

"A bank and a legitimate company will not send you that type of an email and ask you to click on a link to get information,” said Rice.

The Twin Falls Police Department is seeing a rise in credit card fraud cases.

"People are using stolen credit cards to make purchases of small denominations, gift cards, and some up to one–hundred dollar gift cards in several different locations throughout the city," said Sgt. Luke Allen, Twin Falls Police Department.

The first thing you should do if you notice unusual charges on your card is contact your financial institution, then contact the police.

Forty to 59–year olds make up fifty percent of the documented victims.

The median amount reported is about $400.


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